Mt. Thielsen 9182’
Location: Diamond Lake, Southern Oregon
Elevation change: 3800’
The guidebooks I have at home are Oregon Descents by David Waag 1997, and Backcountryski Oregon by Christopher Van Tilburg 2001. You’ll also find some pics and home-made maps on an older website called skimountaineer.com by Amar Andalkar. We also just started selling Stevens Pass Ski Atlas From Alpenglow Publishing Studio By Dexter Burke – The BackCountry in the shop. These amazing mountain images from the air to help you visualize your ski tour ideas. I thought I had a clue until I started flipping through these three photo books. We have them in the shop for sale now. The other two are for Tahoe and Steven’s Pass.
Mt. Thielsen isn’t well known for skiing, but I finally went up there in April of 2021 with Henry and Vince, and we thought it was really cool. The longest continuous fall line skiing you could do might only be 1500’ before traversing back through the forest, but there is a nice steep small west facing slope to session also. It was way too cold for that to soften up, we didn’t try it. We snoozed around up there on a windy and cold day and barely found any soft snow to turn on. But look at this peak! You’re doin’ it when you see it, right?
Start at the Diamond Lake Sno Park, which is also the location of the Mt. Thielsen Trail 1456. Record your route by GPS so you can find your car and feel your way up the peak until you get to the amazing horn on top. I knew it was 4th class to climb the West ridge by reading about this peak on Summitpost.org. We brought a small rope and rapped off a bunch of slings and rap ring that was already attached to a boulder on the summit. The climbing was secure and easy, but the exposure might get you if you have never been rock climbing. If you brought trail shoes on a warm day, maybe that would be faster and get you to the summit safely without a rope. The summit pinnacle is 80’ high. No big deal, right? Well I have seen a picture of it in winter all covered in Rime ice. I recommend doing what we did. Go in the spring when you can reliably climb dry rock and rap off.
There are other peaks you can ski in this area. They are small and some require sled access. The sweet big peak you don’t need a sled for is Mt. Mcloughlin. We went up that peak the next day, and my post is on the website. I have skied that one a number of times now and it’s amazing. Rent an RV and go on a Volcano Tour in May! Make sure to watch for clear skis and light winds however, because frozen corn isn’t worth the gas money.